Netiya is an interfaith food justice network that cultivates gardens on unused congregational land to grow and tithe nutritious food. Netiya advances institutional collaboration around food procurement and food relief, so that Angelenos of all faiths can have greater access to food that is worthy of a blessing. We are a network of nearly 40 faith-based institutions that collaborate in LA. Visit us: www.netiya.org
We believe that our institutions should source our food locally when possible. We are also deeply committed to ending food insecurity and to increasing access to healthy food in proactive and strategic ways. We believe that food is a fundamental human right. There is increasing recognition among emergency food providers of the importance of nutrition. It is no longer sufficient to merely provide calories to alleviate hunger. Just as important is providing nutrient rich foods that support adequate growth and health. But these healthier options, like fresh fruits and vegetables, are often too expensive for struggling families. In addition, many families live in “food deserts,” where markets are scarce and those that do exist sell mostly packaged, processed food. By making additional fresh produce options available across the city, we not only ease hunger but improve overall nutrition and health. By growing more food, we can tithe more food. We endeavor to build a more just and resilient food system. We believe that collaboration is the only method to make this vision a reality.
Netiya runs two programs:
Netiya’s Just Gardens program works within our faith-based network to convert unused land at our institutions for the purpose of growing and tithing nutritious food. Through this program we convert unused land at our institutions, and teach communities to grow food sustainably.
Netiya’s Just Foods program is the educational arm of our organizing. The Just Foods program works with our faith-based institutions to make informed and ethical food choices about procuring food, and distributing leftover or community-grown food. We strive to forge alliances to source food from LA’s local farms with intent to place purchasing power from our nearly 40-institution network behind our local farms. Just Foods has launched the Netiya Council to enhance collaboration between our network institutions. It is run as a Council and functions as a network-wide educational project. The liaisons of our network join hands in creating educational content designed to help us expand understandings of the issues related to our broken food system; develop new and creative content for celebrating our harvest festivals; and catalyze a proactive approach to community building through growing food and sourcing food locally. The Council is run by an Executive Council of community leaders and together we identify the most pressing issues within the LA food movement and, brainstorm ways to organize within and around our faith-based institutions. The Council generates valuable tools and useful content that is available for distribution throughout the network.